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West Coast schools victims of bad policy

West Coast schools victims of bad policy

A systemic problem with the resourcing of rural education in New Zealand has given the Education Review Office justifiable reasons to question the quality of education on the West Coast.

Responding to the ERO report, Schooling on the West Coast, PPTA President Phil Smith said it confirmed the Association’s own research into rural education.

“ERO has identified key issues that highlight the harmful affect some elements of Tomorrow’s Schools has had on rural schools.

“New Zealand once had the best rural education system in the world. But the Tomorrow’s Schools’ policy of turning all schools into competing market entities effectively stripped rural schools of funding,” he said.

“The Ministerial Reference Group in the early ‘90s sucked resourcing out of rural secondary schools and delivered it to urban ones.”

“Rural teachers have to put up with conditions urban teachers wouldn’t tolerate.”

“For instance, their access to professional development is severly hampered because they have to travel hundreds of kilometres to get it.”

“West Coast teachers are to be praised for the hard work they do. They display total dedication to making an under-resourced system work for the benefit of their students.”

“The onus is now on the Ministry of Education to rectify the problems ERO have identified.”

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